Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump gives pledge to deliver peace to Israel

Trump gives pledge to deliver peace to Israel

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

His speech came after he met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day.

Noting how Trump did not mention Palestinian statehood or a two-state solution in his public remarks with Abbas, Knesset member Ofir Akunis (Likud) said, "This is a huge achievement, on a historic scale, and a big win for anyone opposed to the mistaken and unsafe idea of a Palestinian terror state in the heart of Israel".

"I had a meeting this morning with president Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Trump said.

"The freedom and independence of the Palestinian people is the key to peace and stability in our region and the world, so that the children of Palestine and Israel enjoy a secure, stable and prosperous future".

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He also commended the importance of the holding of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in the Saudi capital on Sunday. And he also spoke of Israeli settlements and occupation and Palestinian prisoners.

The two men had a clash of words past year when Trump was running for president with a major pledge to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Back in Jerusalem - Trump laid a wreath at Israel's Holocaust Memorial and delivered a pre-departure keynote address punctuated by Israel-support, a push for Palestinian-Israeli peace and assurances of his administration's position on Iran.

The problem isn't that Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu don't want peace, or agree that other Arab leaders could play a role. He did not weigh in Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem or even whether the U.S. would continue to insist on a two-state solution giving the Palestinians sovereign territory. The problem is not between us and Judaism. A deal appears to have taken place behind the scenes: the U.S. tried to convince Saudi Arabia that it still has the USA support in exchange for diplomatic normalization with the Israeli regime.

The Palestinian president raised the issue of Palestinian detainees, who have been holding a hunger strike for more than a month.

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"I refuse to see the visit just as a gesture - there must be something behind it", he said.

Trump on Tuesday wrapped up the Middle East leg of his first foreign trip as president. "Mr. President, I extend my hand to you to be your partner in this noble mission".

Before leaving Italy, Trump will meet with the Italian president and prime minister prior to a Thursday flight to Brussels.

Administration officials claim the agreement - worth $110 billion over the next decade - is the biggest single arms deal in American history, and it will see us defense firms flow everything from ships and tanks to the latest anti-missile systems to the kingdom. "I think that he comes in with good relationships in some cases and with fresh thinking in other cases and that could be positive".

Speaking alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Trump offered his condolences and condemned the "wicked ideology" that led to the attack.

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Trump has been viewed as against the Paris accords from the start , vowing to opt out back when he was on the campaign trail. Leaders from the G-7 countries were expected to gather at the San Domenico Palace Hotel on Saturday morning.

Abbas emphasized that he was committed to cooperating with Trump to forge a deal.

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